In This Guide
Vessel sinks are beautiful. They somehow manage to combine the old world tradition of having a bowl for freshening up with new world luxury and modernity, and they come in a variety of shapes, styles, and sizes to suit every lifestyle. Naturally, more and more individuals are interested in installing one in their home so they can take advantage of the beauty and practicality. Unfortunately, the process of installing the vessel sink does take some measurement and consideration before simply going out and purchasing a model for the bathroom. One of the most significant key steps is picking the right vanity height for the vessel sink so that it’s comfortable to use.
What Is a Vessel Sink?
The vessel sink is also commonly known as a bowl sink because of its unique shape and design. Rather than being inset in a sink or countertop, it sits on the surface. Although it is often glued, bolted, or otherwise locked into place, the vessel sink looks like someone artfully placed a bowl upon the surface. This particular style was invented by a woman named Meredith Wolf from Rhode Island in the United States and has rapidly become one of the most popular designs in the world. It has been employed by numerous businesses – especially fancier restaurants – and is made by multiple manufacturers.
Most vessel sinks are made from polished stainless steel and other water-resistant metals, but some are made from porcelain. A few come in a variety of styles, including stone and even granite. You can find just about any design if you shop around. There are also a few manufacturers that can make customized vessel sinks, although these tend to be more expensive than if you purchase a mass-produced model.
Because of its design, the vessel sink naturally takes up more space since it cannot be laid in the cabinet or countertop on which it sits. This gives more room for cabinets but also means that you need to consider its extra height when trying to determine how tall your bathroom vanity or central cabinet should be. On average, a vessel sink is six inches tall. However, this is not standard and styles from different manufacturers will naturally vary. Remember to do your research before purchase.
How to Calculate the Right Vanity Height
Calculating the right vanity height for a vessel sink should be easy once you know large the bowl sink is. All you have to do is remember to include the height in your calculations when choosing a new vanity. Oftentimes people make the mistake of simply trying to place a vessel sink on top of a regular vanity. This sounds like a good idea, right? After all, it means you have to do less work. However, the height of this setup would be extremely uncomfortable for the average individual.
On average, a vanity is about 36 in. tall. This is the most standard measurement that is comfortable for people between five and six feet in height. About sixty years ago when people were shorter, most sinks only measured 30 in. tall. If you were to place a regular vessel sink on the average vanity, the rim is going to be 42 in. off the ground. Anyone who wanted to wash their hands would thus need to hold them at an irregular height and angle to be able to rinse them off.
So, to find the right vanity height – for the average individual – just do some simple mathematics. You want the vanity + vessel sink = 36 in. If you are over 6 ft. tall, you can stretch this overall height to roughly 40 in. for more comfort. Below are some sample calculations to give you the right height.
30 in. (vanity) + 6 in. (vessel sink) = 36 in.
28 in. (vanity) + 8 in. (vessel sink) = 36 in.
32 in. (vanity) + 4 in. (vessel sink) = 36 in.
Current Height Standards
If you’re installing the vanity and vessel sink in your home, then you don’t need to obey current height standards for sinks and can build to your heart’s delight. If you intend to install one in a business or public building, however, then you need to follow the guidelines laid out by the Americans with Disabilities Act. According to this law, public bathrooms need to have sinks no less than 29 in. and no more than 34 in. in height.
Naturally, taller people are going to struggle with these measurements, so consider including multiple sinks if you need the installation to be completed for a public building. At home, you can make the vanity and sink whatever height you desire. Just remember the average height of your family members, since what you need might not be comfortable for your spouse, children, or parents.
Vessel or bowl sinks are gorgeous and can become the focal point of any room. The trick is to install them correctly, find a cabinet or vanity that suits them, and then make sure the entire set is a desirable height. If you’re unfamiliar with how to go about choosing the proper pieces, consider asking for assistance at the local hardware store. You can also do a little research on your own, like you’re doing now. Most pieces, including vanities and sinks, nowadays have their exact measurements written on the packaging. Just do some quick math at home, in your head, or on a calculator while out shopping to find a luxurious set that suits your home and needs.
Now that you know how to pick the right vanity height for your vessel sink, you can go out and design the bathroom of your wildest dreams. Just remember to leave space on the counter for all your other possessions like toothbrushes.
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